Can you #SpotLeukaemia?
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, leukaemia had a significantly higher rate of emergency diagnosis (averaging 37%) than the overall cancer average (21%). By the end of 2020 (latest available data) emergency presentations of leukaemia rose from 42% to over 46%, indicating that the COVID-19 pandemic may have made the situation worse.
Emergency diagnosis is associated with reduced survival rates, which is why Spot Leukaemia is vital now more than ever to tackle early diagnosis and save lives.
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) is a type of blood cancer that affects the stem cells in the bone marrow. Genetic testing can be used to identify the type of AML to inform best treatment approach #BloodCancerAwarenessMonth #SpotLeukaemia pic.twitter.com/1p097G1Wn2
— Astellas Europe (@AstellasEurope) September 10, 2021
Leukaemia can be hard to spot because, whilst there may be numerous signs and symptoms, they are non-specific. Although most leukaemia patients (85%) said they experienced symptoms before their diagnosis, very few people suspected (17%) that they may have cancer. Furthermore, YouGov results from 2020 show that the majority of people would not visit a medical professional when experiencing the common leukaemia symptoms.
Leukaemia Care is campaigning for overall increased awareness of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, amongst both the public and healthcare professionals.
The six most common symptoms experienced by all leukaemia patients prior to diagnosis. These are:
- Shortness of breath
- Fever or night sweats
- Bruising or bleeding
- Bone/joint pain
- Repeated infections
This September, the #SpotLeukaemia campaign aims to:
- Raise awareness online and within the media of the signs and symptoms of leukaemia, educating the public so they know what to look out for.
- Share leukaemia stories so that blood cancer patients can connect to someone who is going through the same journey as them and the public can gain a better understanding of leukaemia, how it presents and who it affects.
You can find more information about it on the Leukaemia Care Website